The way businesses approach marketing has changed dramatically in recent years. The technological advancements surrounding AI and machine learning, in addition to tool accessibility for automation, has created a paradigm shift in how organizations market themselves.
2019 promises to be an exciting year in marketing trends, with a combination of new developments and revisiting traditional strategies creating a powerful balance. Here are three tips for gearing up your small business marketing efforts this year.
Get Back to Basics
Over the latter part of 2017 and the duration of 2018, the accessibility and development of marketing tools-- particularly for small businesses and startups-- increased drastically. While these tools all have the potential to be powerful assets to a marketing team, the market saturation caused a lot of overwhelm, resulting in inaction and poor results.
2019 will be the year that businesses start to get back to basics when it comes to their marketing efforts with the strategy that they should focus on fewer tools and use them exceptionally well. For example, getting back to email marketing efforts while enhancing their experience by finding out more about email parsers and other ways to streamline that process. Rather than ensuring that all social media platforms are constantly updated and utilized for promotional efforts, businesses will hone in on those that have been deemed successful in the past.
This back to basics approach will be seen through all departments of an organization in 2019, as a renewed focus is placed upon SOPs. Accounting departments will aim to increase cash flow through the use of structured invoicing protocols and the ideal invoice template. Operations will re-evaluate processes and protocols, and so on.
Personalized User Experience
Amazon has long been ahead of the curve when it comes to innovating and optimizing customer experience and related marketing efforts. In 2019, this area will be a focal point for many organizations. This is largely due to the fact that machine learning is becoming a part of everyday life, rather than something out of a science fiction novel.
Creating a personalized user experience is a blend of getting back to basics and following the wave of the future. On the one hand, the idea that the customer is always rights shines through. On the other, using robots to sell goods and services is becoming prevalent.
There are many organizations that already jumped the gun on this trend, using collected customer information to cater their business offerings. However, after the privacy and ethical concerns highlighted in 2018, everyone is rethinking how to utilize this information in an effective way for marketing processes, without overriding consent or ethics.
Eventually, each customer who enters an online store (and perhaps even a brick and mortar store) will have a different experience from their friends or colleagues. By creating a user experience that incorporates personalization, marketing teams take on an effective, psyche-heavy approach to selling.
Leaving Clickbait in the Past
Clickbait is a strategic content marketing strategy that encourages readers and customers to open a page (thus improving traffic) based on an impossible-to-ignore heading or title. These are often outrageous and over-the-top, causing a fair share of outrage and sales simultaneously. However, clickbait has gotten tired, and consumers are no longer as compelled to open these links as they once were.
At long last, 2019 will be the year when marketing teams move away from clickbait and put a renewed focus on creating high-quality, evergreen content. While consumer attention spans are shrinking as time goes by, this is slowly starting to transition into more mindfulness when deciding what to click during adventures on the internet.
Long-form content is making headway again. In recent years, businesses have been able to enhance their SEO by having content posted frequently with little focus on length. Now, changes to Google’s mandate give preference to long-form, expertly written content. Consumers are taking more time to read a well-written, informative piece rather than giving their limited time and attention to clickbait.
Gear Up Your 2019 Marketing Efforts
With these three trends in mind, what can a business do to take advantage of the 2019 marketing trends?
First and foremost, take some time to trim the fat. Evaluate all of the tools being used in the run of a day to get work done and prioritize those that are worth the investment. Eliminate those that haven’t proven to be useful and reallocate the funds and time saved into optimizing the tools that have made an impact.
If your organization is not already collecting data about customers, now is the time to start. If you have been collecting data, start creating a strategy about how to use it. Additionally, take the time to educate your marketing team on compliance issues and privacy protection.
Finally, put a renewed focus on creating useful, evergreen content that people will want to share. It may result in an initial dip in social media analytics but will improve your overall SEO and ability to remain relevant.
2019 promises to be an exciting year for businesses in every industry. By staying up to date on marketing trends, your business can achieve its goals today and in the future.